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tv   The Last Word With Lawrence O Donnell  MSNBC  February 9, 2015 10:00pm-11:01pm PST

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signing ceremony thursday afternoon. president obama talks about how much he loves a signing ceremony. but he gets very little opportunity to do them because this congress passes nothing. well, president obama is trying to stop vladimir putin and ukraine. and boston is praying for the snow to stop and no one can stop kanye. >> it's a hard problem with no easy answers, otherwise somebody else would have solved it, and i would never even hear about it. if russia continues on its current course, russia's isolation will only worsen both politically and economically.
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with regard to isil, germany and the united states remain united. >> this is a long-term operation, not a short-term one. >> i don't believe right now we need american boots on the ground. >> with respect to prime minister netanyahu. >> are you thinking of not going? >> i'm not thinking about not going, i am not going. >> as much as i love angela, if she was two weeks away from an election, she probably would not have received an invitation to the white house. >> we've never seen this type of snow. >> my plan is to shovel over here next to my husband's car. >> whoo-hoo! [cheers and applause] >> the state of alabama started issuing marriage licenses to same-section couples. >> roughly two-thirds of counties refused to issue marriage licenses. >> beck needs to respect
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artistry. and he should have given his award to beyonce. he needs to stop playing with us. the president, under bipartisan pressure from congress to supply weapons to ukraine to push back russian invaders. the president met with angela merkle at the white house today. >> i think both angela and i have emphasized that the prospect for a military solution to this problem has always been, well, it is true that if in fact diplomacy fails, what i've asked my team to do is to look at all options. what other means can we put in place to change mr. putin's calculus?
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and the possibility of lethal defensive weapons is one of those options that's being examined, but i have not made a decision about that yet. >> howard dean, the president has some difficult calculations to make. it's political and strategic. and this decision about arming ukraine. >> he does. and there's a way three hasn't, an option that he hasn't looked at. first of all, if he does send defensive weapons, he's going to have to think about the next step. what happens if that means putin puts more military effort on the ground. then are we going to send troops? he's got to think that question through before he goes to defensive weapons. but there are a set of sanctions we haven't applied yet. these are really, really tough sanctions. we have the power to cut the russians entirely out of the international banking system, which we did in iran. and i think that we probably ought to do that before defensive weapons, because it's a possibility that defensive weapons will lead to the
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necessity of american troops on the ground, and i think that's a big step. >> jerry reid, we have such a mixed record, to put it politely, about whom we choose to arm. and we've got a horrible record. this is arming a government. this is a different thing. but it's not exactly the same thick as supplying arms to israel. >> it's complicated by the fact that when you talk on the ukrainian side, they say they're not fighting separatists who are loyal to russia, they're fighting russians. so the possibility that we're actually supplying arms that will then be aimed at russian nationals is a very real possibility and the notion of a proxy war between the united states and russia is very real. i think that's why you see a lot of caution on the part of countries like germany. and angela merkle has a relationship more than we do with putin.
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so there is a possibility of this spiraling out of control. and for americans, we are rightly very concerned about being sucked into yet another conflict in this part of the world. that feels very cold-war vintage, but it is actually very dangerous right now. >> and josh barro, it's difficult. we've come your way a lot. it's been hard for us. so we don't want these weapons. >> yeah, it makes sense. europe's economy is much more closely tied in with russia than the u.s. is. this is in some ways a cheap thing for us. whatever happens in the ukraine is going to reverberate much more within europe than it is in the united states. so it makes sense that the europeans are more cautious. russia is an unsustainable situation.
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russia's basically a petro state, and they're not going to be able to maintain their economy as they have with oil prices here. so it feels like with the application of more sanctions as the governor discussed is russia ought not to be able to keep doing this forever. the question is how long does it take for the economic pressures to make it impossible for russia to intervene the way it has in the ukraine. it might be longer than we think is acceptable. >> let's say the president decides to arm ukraine. what does vladimir putin do? >> i think there's a false dichotomy here. one of the things ukraine needs most is not lethal weaponry, it is non-lethal military equipment such as surveillance drones so they can monitor russian and separatist positions. i've interviewed fighters who say they are using walkie-talkies. they're using world war ii era material. the one weapon that they need
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most are javelin anti-tank missiles. the rest of the stuff, you could argue is not amplifying or escalating the conflict, just allowing the ukrainians to do what they're already doing and protect themselves and defend their soldiers. >> howard dean, laid out by michael, that seems perfectly reasonable. vladimir putin is probably not going to interpret this as just defensive weapons that just kind of even the playing field a little bit. >> well, i think we have to look at what putin's goals are. putin's goal is to return as much as possible to the glory days of the soviet union's domination of eastern europe. he occupies 20% of the territory in georgia. they've kidnapped a border guard in estonia. and they're now languishing in a russian jail. the only reason i hesitated at the javelin anti-tank missiles, you have to be willing to go the whole way if you're going to do
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it. the worst thing we could do is partial arming. we've got to anticipate that he's going to get more aggressive. and we have to know exactly what we're going to do about it before we take the first step. hence my argument for cutting them entirely out of the international banking system and hoping that sends the message. he is going to have a lot of resistance in the kremlin if his people start losing tons and tons of money. they've lost a lot already and it could get much worse. the. >> john mccain out there today is saying that chancellor merkle, president obama are completely wrong about this, and they should be rushing arms in there right now. the there are democrats who support the idea. the. >> there are democrats who support the idea. but if you stack it up, it is much more important to russia. they've seen it more important to them to take ukraine than it is for americans who don't understand necessarily what this
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war or this proxy war is about. and i think that howard dean makes a very good point. russia's very vulnerable. their economy is not doing well. they're not bearing up well under these sanctions. yes, they are europe's gas station, but they are vulnerable. and the u.s. is in a position to do damage with the sanctions. >> and the complexity of the chessboard in all matters includes questions of the islamic state, chancellor merkle being helpful about that. let's listen to what they said today about the islamic state. the. >> we have a practice of not meeting with leaders right before their elections, two weeks before their elections. as much as i love angela, if she was two weeks away from an election, she probably would not have receive add invitation to the white house. the and i suspect she wouldn't have asked for one. so, you know, [ laughter ]
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you know, this is just, you know, some of this just has to do with how we do business. >> i promise you, he did say something about the islamic state. but josh barro, there's been some talk that benjamin netanyahu has been reconsidering this mess that has been created. some saying this is a mistake, netanyahu coming to address congress. >> yeah. if it's a political ploy, it's not one that has worked. it's not just about how it affects u.s. politics but israeli politics. part of what he thought was a power play in the u.s. was to demonstrate he was able to bend american officials to his will on this, which he is not going to be able to do from this speech. so it makes sense to me from benjamin netanyahu's own
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political interest to be backing away from the speech. i can't predict what he's going to do. >> there are poll numbers indicating that netanyahu has gone down in domestic polls crucial to his reelection as a result of this problem with washington. >> i think it was a measure of tone-deafness here, that he can appeal directly to the american electorate, go over the president's head and a lot of congress people's heads. there is a fundamental strategy. there are a lot of democrats out there who think we're empowering iran not necessarily by the negotiations but by turning a blind eye to things such as the houthi takeover in yemen. and ethnic cleansing of sunni populations in iraq and syria. the that's an ungodly mess that has no sign of being put back together again. there are certain things that you just don't do. one of them is, in the midst of
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an election, say, "screw you, mr. president, i'm come being to congress." >> there are members of congress finding convenient reasons not to be there. vice president says he's not going to be there. but your senator, bernie sanders, he's just saying he's not going. i'm absolutely not going to benjamin netanyahu's address. >> i think the prime minister has done an enormous amount of harm to israel over his tenure. if you look at polls of jews, american jews under 30, israel is not on their radar screen. it's very, very bad what's happened to the relationship between israel and the united states. my own personal view is that the prime minister has overplayed his hand on multiple occasions. how about the vice president going over there a few years ago, and lieberman i believe it was announced there would be 2,000 more settlement dwellings put in while joe biden was in israel.
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i think that the prime minister's getting what he deserves. i think the vice president to boycott this talk as the president of the senate is pretty extraordinary. and i think his own poll numbers are starting to see that in israel. and netanyahu has put his own personal interests above the interests of the nation of israel. and that's never a good thing for a leader to do anywhere. the. >> we're going to continue more of this discussion including what the president really did say about islamic state. and later, the controversy that began when president obama said this. >> lest we get on our high horse and think america is different than other places. people committed terrible deeds in the name of christ.
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a jury of ten women and two men has been chosen for the trial of the man accused of murdering former navy seal chris kyle, the man who was portrayed by bradley cooper in the movie "american sniper." the defense argued that defendant eddie ray routh would not be able to get a fair trial where every showing of "american sniper" sold out in the only movie theater there. seeing the movie was not only disqualifying for jurors, but they had to be able to convince the court that they could completely disregard the movie and consider nothing other than the evidence that will be introduced in the trial. opening statements in the case are scheduled for wednesday. we'll bring you complete coverage of that trial here on the last word.
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year newer with 15,000 fewer miles than your old one. see car insurance in a whole new light. liberty mutual insurance. with regard to isil, germany and the united states remain united in our determination to destroy this barbaric organization. i thanked angela for her strong support as a member of the international coalition that is working in iraq. >> joy, so there's another dimension to the discussion they had earlier about ukraine. >> right. >> remember, this is not the only help the president is looking for in the world. he's also got the islamic state problem. >> absolutely. and when he ended that statement with iraq, there in lies the difficulty. because we do have this coalition. there are western countries involved in it. you obviously have jordan. but in terms of ground forces you're going to need at some
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point if you're going to really defeat isis, who is going to supply those ground forces, and if it is going to be primarily iraq which is what u.s. forces are indicating, you're talking about the same iraqi army that turned tail and ran. >> and that supplies a rationale for what lindsey graham says about this, the fact that the iraqi military is so weak. let's listen to what he said about boots on the ground. >> you're going to need boots on the ground not only in iraq but syria, and there's got to be some regional force formed with an american component, somewhere around 10,000, i think, american soldiers. >> 10,000 american soldiers in syria and iraq. >> he's smoking the same stuff when he voted for bush's war in 2003. if we hadn't gone in in 2003, we wouldn't be in this position now. look, we need boots on the ground, but not ours. we cannot keep fighting for
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people who won't fight for themselves. now lindsey graham is correct. the iraqi army is a mess and it's a pipe dream to think it's ever going to be any better, and they are also, with shia militia committing atrocities. this can be solved with most likely the kurds being the fighting force. and plenty of coalition and american support. it's conceivable you could even get the jordanians involved after what happened to their pilot. i, by the way, think that when they burned the jordanian pilot to death, that is the turning point. i have now seen on the television, middle eastern imams finally coming out and condemning the isis people as unislamic. that is what i've been waiting for. that is critical, and i think ultimately we are now winning the propaganda war, and that's very, very important. >> and josh barro, so immediately on the heels of that, there comes the word that
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kayla mueller was killed during a bombing raid. they don't have the normal proofs that they offer for this, like a beheading video or burning someone to death on video. but, and the family's still desperately hoping that she's still with us, but it shows once again that the islamic state has a move, after whatever move you make. >> that's right. but i think, with, you know, us talking about this with the germany and the meeting this week, this isn't just the u.s. going to germany and asking for a series of favors and support for things we care about. i think there's a symmetry with the ukraine event. i think with isis, it's the opposite. the risks to europe are much higher than the united states. you have a lot more fighters who have gone from germany and france and the u.k. to fight over there. there's a lot more risk of terrorism coming back into europe. as we saw in paris with
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something just inspired by this, but in any case, the risk from what's metastasizing out of isis is much greater from the european continent than it is. that's why it's more expected. in new hampshire, i take new hampshire polls much more seriously than iowa. i think they're more predictive of where the country's going. jeb bush at 16, chris christie at 10, mike huckabee at 6. how do you read that poll? >> i don't. i think polls at this stage of the game are nothing more than stuff for people like us to talk about. to say that jeb bush is leading the polls with 16%, i don't think so. this is all exercise in people who, i don't know who did the poll, but i just, you know, it's hardly worth talking about.
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>> spoken by a man who was once leading in early presidential polls. >> i know for a fact. >> they did not show up right at the right time. >> and i mean a big lead. >> joy reid, it does seem that first poll of the serious republican voter, and if you start to look at, i mean, christie's going to collapse, and i know that. >> yeah. >> america might not. but when i look at that, i say, okay, where's christie's ten going to go? and it seems like that would float right up to jeb. i mean, i, based on where things stand right now, that looks like a pretty good poll for jeb. >> on the one hand, if the bushes of ken bunk port, maine can't do better for one of their sons at 16% in maine. i believe that chris christie is rudy giuliani. and walker has sort of a similar
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thing in iowa, where he's in a neighboring state, so he's got the same media market. i think they're all playing about where they should be at this point. jeb's upside is, to me, so overwhelmed by the down side of the bush brand that it's hard for me to imagine all the establishment support going to him. but for whatever reason, there is a bank of establishment money that wants jeb bush to be the guy. >> i suspect when the big money looks at this poll, they say, hmm, give me another poll. i'd like to see another poll next week. >> i'm with the governor. i think this tells us nothing. it sort of seems like support should flow from christie to jeb. but your average voter thinking about chris christie is not someone saying i want a moderate. they're likely to end up with walker. but i think jeb's biggest
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weakness is not the bush name. i think his biggest weakness is he doesn't seem to have mitt romney's willingness to debase himself on any issue. >> on immigration. >> but common core is something he's emotional about. i don't think he respects people who think that common core is evil. and he's going to have to appeal to those people for votes. and i don't think he's going to be able to. coming up, we will go live to boston, where i was yesterday. the snow, if the snow hadn't already buried the reporter we have standing outside there in the snow. where else would a reporter be? you wouldn't believe it was snowing if we didn't show you someone standing out in the snow. we're also going to have more of the reaction over the weekend to what president obama said about the crusades.
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is that what we pay for internet? yup. dsl is about 90 bucks a month. that's funny, for that price with comcast business, i think you get like 50 megabits. wow, that's fast. personally, i prefer a slow internet. there is something about the sweet meditative glow of a loading website. don't listen to the naysayer. switch to comcast business today and get 50 megabits per second for $89.95. comcast business. built for business. if i've learned one thing over the course of the past two weeks, it's mother nature makes the rules. >> that's massachusetts' brand new governor as another snowstorm overwhelms the boston area. massachusetts has seen over 5 1/2 feet of snow. it has collapsed some buildings, buried thousands of cars.
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it's made commuting to work or school a daily ordeal. boston has gotten more snow over the past 30 days than any other 30-day period in its history. i was in boston yesterday. and the good news is that the parking meters are buried in snow, so you don't have to pay the meters, but the snow is so big that there is no room to park your car at a meter. joy reid, anywhere in boston, it's impossible. joining me now, adam reese. where are you exactly, and what is that behind you? >> reporter: good evening, lawrence. from south boston, a frigid south boston. now four storms in less than two weeks, dumping 73 inches of snow. take a look behind my. they're wondering, where do we put it all. that's the big challenge for officials here. this mound behind my, some 50, 60 feet high. then the front loaders take the snow from over there to over
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there, where the melter is. they're bringing melters in from out of state. they're also taking the snow to the south shore, dumping it on beaches over there, 73 inches of snow. the governor said they don't know what to do with it. you could take all this snow and put it in gillette stadium where the patriots play, 90 times. now the governor said in jest, maybe the city should bid for the winter olympics instead of the summer olympics. and more snow coming this week with more frigid temperatures. >> thank you very much for joining us. coming up, the controversy that started when president obama spoke at the national prayer breakfast about the crusades. ♪ (playful growl) vo: because every moment matters,
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1,000 years ago to the current atrocities made by muslims today. >> i've made this point a [ bleep ] times. it would be christianity you would be going after because they are the most violent and intolerant. we did it then. they're doing it now. >> he is not willing to talk about radical islamic jihad, boko haram and isis who all say that their behavior is coming from their interpretation of islamic text. >> i'm totally obama on this. >> christianity managed to reform itself. >> and our home country, slavery and jim crow, all too often was justified in the name of christ. >> you're saying, you know, we're prone to zealotry. >> why did he feel compelled to bring this up at all? >> he's not a big fan of the prayer breakfast, and i think he almost enjoys creating a rhetorical debate.
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>> joining me now, the author of "standing alone." and joshua dubois, michael ware. deborah lipstadt joins us and joy reid is still with us here in new york. josh dubois, in the new york times on saturday, in an article, in an effort to clear up the reaction to this, eric schultz said what i think the president was trying do say is over the course of human history, there are times when extremists pervert their own religion to justify violence. and josh, i think the president had said that, there wouldn't be any controversy.
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>> well, lawrence, with due respect, there's a controversy because the right set the trap and a lot of folks, including progressives took the bait. the president was making a clear point. he said in a continuum of historical events, people have misused religion. he pointed to the crusades, then he pointed to slavery and jim crow as well. and now he's saying we can't lay the evil deeds of isis at the feet of islam. what happened is that the right jumped on that and set the trap. and unfortunately, a lot of folks responded to that. but now today we see people taking the president's side, from the center left, to the center right. and folks are saying, i think the president had an important point there. and it was an important point that he made. >> you worked in the office of faith-based initiatives. is that one of the speeches that they run by your shop before it goes out?
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>> we're certainly involved in the speech but always, of course, the president has the final word. and the pen is in the hands of the speech-writing office, but yeah, typically, these speeches -- >> if we're looking at it as speech-writing staffers, is there anything in that draft that you would have changed that ultimately went public? >> i think the speech, that's specific segment in the speech was inartful and had in it some assumptions that maybe weren't necessary. i think if i wouldn't have talked about getting on a high horse, maybe it wouldn't have been taken by some the way it was. i think there's a much more hopeful, positive way he could have gone about it, instead of talking about how christianity was used to justify all kinds of things. what he could have said, and which actually fits in with the president's strategy when talking about these issues,
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going back to cairo and even previous to the cairo speeches, you know, we have a reason to be hopeful, even in the midst of this religious violence, because we have a history of christians perverting their religion to justify slavery, but then we also have christians who stood up to take back the mantle of their religion, to speak out for a god who, who crushes oppressors and frees the slaves. and so i do think it was inartful, but i agree with joshua and david brooks and others who have said that the key point was a good one. i'll just add, though, that the point is not sort of a novel one for those who were in the audience or for christians themselves. sort of even the southern baptist convention that was created in large part to support slavery has since, you know, in baptist terms, repented from
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that and recognized it for the stain on their denomination, on christianity that it was. so the idea that he was teaching folks in the audience something new isn't right, but the reminder was a good one. >> the, in that "new york times" article where the administration was working on correcting the impressions about this, medieval historian on the study of islam in london, thomas asbridge said, it's a word you have to use with great caution, because it is the most highly-charged word can you use in the context of the middle east. you didn't approve at all of the president using that word "crusades". >> my problem is many months of denial on the part of the president and the administration on this very fundamental issue that the islamic state is very much about islam. last fall, the president said
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that the islamic state is not islamic. earlier this week, last week, he said that whatever ideology it was that caused the islamic state guerillas and fighters that exist within them to burn a soldier to death, that was all that he could state. but, you know, i have before me the koran. and i have post notes here on every citation that the islamic state has used to justify their violence. christianity has had to deal with verses like deuteronomy, the war verses. but one of the verses that says fight against them so that allah will fight against them with your hands and disgrace them and give victory over them and heal the breaths of a believing people. that was the title on the air force pilot from jordan. healing the chests of the
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believers. we're at a point in islamic history. we're at a crossroads, just like christians have been and the jews have been. and we have to take passages inside our koran, those war verses and we have to take them on. and we need liberals on our side. >> i agree with you, but that's precisely the point that president obama was using, that we have to draw distinctions between how isis is interpreting these verses and how the vast majority of muslims interpret them. >> i would argue that nobody is putting islam on trial. and ultimately, ultimately, if we try to avoid a conversation about islam, it's only the militants and guerillas that win. as long as the liberals decide they're going to sit on the fence and be politically correct about this, we're not going to have honest conversations, and i really admire, lawrence, that
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you have done this. i count myself liberal, and have felt so disheartened that that spirit of political correctness has made it so that we can't have an honest conversation about a lot of issues. >> a lot of people are putting islam on trial. >> i need to get to a commercial break. we're going to continue this discussion. just hold it right there. is designed with an ultra-thin coating and fast absorbing advil ion core technology stopping headaches and other tough pain. fast. relief doesn't get any better than this. advil. ♪ with pain relief, we're all at the corner of "relief is good"...and "fast relief is better." good thing walgreens gets you in and out in no time... so you can find relief fast, with solutions like advil. at the corner of happy and healthy.
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christian sources. but i think someone earlier in the program used the word "inartful", and that was a very kind way of putting it. i think a very important point was just made in that there's been a reluctance in the white house amongst many people. i see it on campuses as well, that's where i live my life, a reluctance to name this as an expression of violence, extremist islam. not all islam, not all muslim, not at all. but there is a strong strain of violent extremist islam, and unless you name something, you can't solve it. we saw this this summer in our country in the fall with all sorts of problems with shootings and ferguson and staten island. and also you name something, call it racism, maybe not only racism, but unless you name it, you can't solve it.
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and i think there's been a reluctance to name this as a strain of violent extremist islam. and the problem is, we're pulling the ground out from under moderate muslims who would want to address it. but if we don't say it's there, then it sort of leaves them hanging. so while i think, i think he was making an important point in saying, look, this is not only islam's problem, but it's islam that's having the problem right now. and that's what we're facing right now. and the term high horse was not, not that, not the most desirable one. i think that that also skewed matters. >> joy reid, the oddity of mentioning the crusades is, that was a catholic enterprise run by the pope. and so if barack obama is going to get up there and say, you know, as she points out, as
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trying to extricate islam from the islamic state, and then if you're, if the crusades is your example, that was without question a religious exercise. yes, it included other geopolitical objectives, but it was without question religious. >> and this is one of the rare times that you and i disagree. but i think the relationship between the crusades and the islamic state is an inverted relationship. in the case of the crusades, it was the church proper mounting a holy war, going into the middle east and creating destruction in the name of the church. but in the name of the islamic state, they are anti-threat cal. that is not the practice of religion. they are more on the order of what the klan has done to christianity, not 1,000 years ago, but 50 years ago, 20 years ago. there are african-americans right now who remember the crucifixion burned on their lawn by people considered good
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christians. the sheriff, the good christian folk of the community who were perverting the religion to hatred of african-americans. the people who blow up abortion clinics in the contemporary world are doing so in the name of jesus, claiming to be christians, and i think the president did explicitly say, isis is taking the religion and twisting it to sick, sadistic ends. but he says humility requires us to admit that there are extremists in any religion. and it is not only islam capable of it. i really don't understand why it's controversial. >> because, the point is, we can come back to this point after the break. the reason is that the scale involved in the islamic state does not exist in any other violent perversion of any other religion on earth at this time.
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it certainly did in the crusades, but not at this time. we'll have more with this discussion right after this. there's confidence. then there's trusting your vehicle maintenance to ford service confidence. our expertise, technology, and high quality parts mean your peace of mind. now you can get the works, a multi-point inspection with a synthetic blend oil change tire rotation, brake inspection and more. $29.95 or less.
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so, joy, if the president is going to mention the crusades in relation to the islamic state, what prevents vladimir putin, when president obama wants to talk to him about incursions in ukraine, what prevents vladimir putin from saying, hey, you guys shot and murdered your way all across continental north america exterminating native-americans along the way in order to establish your 50 states. so answer that when we come back after this. m confused where's mr. craig? well, i'm sorta mr. craig. we're both between 35 and 45 years old. we both like to save money on car insurance. and we're both really good at teaching people a lesson. um, let's go. cool. sit down! alright.
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okay. so joy, so putin says, after, now that you've mentioned the crusades, mr. president, and you want me to be careful with ukraine, what about you, you know, murdering your way all away across continental north america to create your 50 states? >> and i think the answer is nothing stops vladimir putin from saying that. but wisdom requires the president to answer back to that, there was a moral cost, there was a great cost, we are still suffering that great cost, and you might want to do better by your country. >> and so he says that's why your country is the greatest in the world. >> that need to coddle
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ourselves, i don't get that either. >> that's the highest horse. you wrote something after the president's speech in which you mentioned and you taught us, actually, that in that video, where they burn the pilot, they talk about the crusades and crusaders very specifically, it's very specific language used there. they refer to that pilot who they are burning to death as a crusader detainee. that was your translation of what they say. >> it's actually their translation, also. they literally put onto the page that the pilot was a crusader detainee. that jordan, oman and every other is a crusader. there's a girl in pakistan who got shot in the face because of an interpretation of islam that says girls can't go to school. there are girls in nigeria being
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kidnapped because of the same interpretation of islam. i've been given death threats just because i wanted to walk through the front door of my mosque. we have a serious problem in our world right now. and we cannot have the debate on islam hijacked just through the nature of political correctness. we should actually try to find solutions. we all know that victim cultures cannot get out of that on their own. and that nothing we can do will get them to stop. so we have to stop feeding the wound collecting. >> lawrence, you mentioned the issue of scale and that we haven't seen anything of this scale in the present day or recent past. with due respect, i have to disagree with that. as joy was saying, up until the middle of the last century, we saw the klan and other vestiges of white supremacy ravaging the south. those things they were burning in lawns were not lower-case ts. they were crosses.
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that was not christian. and just like that was not christian, what isis is doing, i don't believe, is islam. and i think that's the point the president was making. >> michael, the last word, go ahead. >> i think asra makes a great point about the fact that we need to have a debate about islam, and i think muslims should be leading that conversation. where i disagree is i think it's clear from the president and his administration, this is about more than political correctness. right or wrong, this is about a foreign policy judgment that there is, that there is a strategic gains to be made by refusing to associate the religion with the terror that we see in the middle east, and i think it's important to be a part of that conversation. >> and professor lipstadt, i for one can't wait for all of islam to be able to get up on a high horse and say we don't do things like that.
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>> i think that would be great. you went back, to go back to your original question about putin. putin says to angela merkle, who are you to tell me about this, just 70 years ago, your people were murdering people and putting them in gas chambers and shooting them. i think she would have apoplexy, you know. just because something happened, of course, i'm talking to you from atlanta, where there were crosses burned not far probably from where i am. and there were certainly, terrible, terrible discrimination and terrible racism in this region. but that doesn't justify what's going on now. and i think the one other point is we keep talking just about isis. this is not just about isis. if you listen to speeches from various imams, and you read literature, you see this is, asra said it. >> we're out of time. i thought i left enough time for
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this discussion. i didn't. i wish we had more time. thank you all for joining me tonight. joining the war. let's play "hardball." good evening, i'm chris matthews in washington. tonight, news from the war front. jordan has carried out 56 air strikes against isis since one of its pilots was shown being burned alive. by the group itself. in the north, kurdish forces are takes it to them on the ground and there's talk of the iraqi army actually launching a major counteroffensive against isis in the coming weeks. are these signs the first good ones that the long sought arab alliance against the horrors of isis is starting to take shape? nbc's keir simmons joins me now from amman, jordan.

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